Monster of the Week: Sentinel Sphere

You play a good game boy, but the game is finished. Now you die.

Films Synopsis:  An indie cult classic filmed and starring mostly amateurs, Phantasm (1979) has a dream-like quality to its bizarre horror/sci-fi story.

A creepy malevolent undertaker with body-changing abilities, played by the late and iconic Angus Scrimm, known simply as the Tall Man is up to no good at the quaint-seeming Morningside Cemetery.  Two brothers, Jody and Mike, eventually come to discover just what sort of shenanigans the otherworldly creature is up to – turning corpses into dwarf zombies (*cough*) and their brains into flying spheres of death. When the Tall Man discovers that the two are on to him, he sets out to turn them into more of his zombified servants and transport them away to his inter-dimensional home.

With such memorable antagonists, the film has spanned decades of sequels in a franchise that shows no signs of stopping. To carry on this month’s construct theme, we turn now to these sentinels and their drills of death – converting them into 5e monsters for more tabletop horror!

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If you see something that looks like it needs improving, re-balancing, editing or formatting, please leave a comment or shoot me an email ! I want these designs to be the best they can be!

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Sentinels have little in the way of tactics – once alerted to the presence of a creature they fly straight towards them, aiming for the forehead where they can drill directly into a victims brain and drain them of blood. Those that are under the direct control of a telepathic master might observe slightly more strategy, but even these possess only rudimentary intelligence at best.

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Sentinels make a great addition as minions to a necromancer, lich or similarly death-focused opponent. You can even tailor them to your campaign stripped of their Phantasm aesthetic- instead of a ‘sphere’ you can easily skin them to be a flying skull with drills that dart towards intruders, hoping to drain them of their blood.

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These tiny little fella’s were started from scratch – given the clockwork resistances from Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes. Their maneuverability seemed like a good case for the flyby trait found with many beasts, and the giant snakes Constrict attack was the closest to the spheres blood drain ability from the film. Their increased AC and invulnerability seemed a good bump in challenge considering their small stature and equivalent hit points.

But what do you think, are the spheres too ballsy an opponent for your soon-to-be enslaved players? Or will their brains and brawn easily smash these balls to pieces? Download my rendition of a sentinel in pdf format for your campaign and screw them to death with a couple of tiny balls.

And, if you want to get this and all the creatures to date in a single, indexed PDF as well as a handy-dandy Fantasy Ground version of these creatures, consider heading over to my Patreon and becoming a Patron!

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BONUS: Get Your Own Sphere!

2 thoughts on “Monster of the Week: Sentinel Sphere

  1. Why is one lawful evil and the other neutral evil? Are they cognizant enough to have anything beyond unaligned? How do I get these as familiars?

    1. Heya! I mostly kept to the lore for the films for these little guys – chiefly that the spheres are ‘run’ by brains of victims, hence I figured they had to be at least ‘aware’ and since they are aware they are probably aware of what they are doing, i.e. you know, murdering people (evil) but also, they were doing so under the command or orders of the Tall Man, so lawful. For the golden spheres, the movies imply they are the ‘brains’ of the tall man or more advanced forms of ‘evil’ beings which may/may not be inclined towards law over chaos (neutral) but certainly evil. As for a familiar … duh! Why didn’t I think of that, these are DEFINITELY familiar territory – I’ll do a familiar comparison to similar flying baddies and post up something this week or next. Great suggestion!

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